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The Standard – Kenya: Please Migne, give Were a chance – says Dennis Oliech | The Standard



By Gilbert Wandera:


Thursday, May 16th 2019 at 00:45 GMT +3



Zesco United forward Jesse Were in a past international action. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Former Harambee Stars captain Dennis Oliech says Zesco United forward Jesse Were should have been called up to the national team Harambee Stars squad ahead of next month’s Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt.

Oliech pointed at Were’s experience as something that he feels would have helped the team.

“He has the experience and plays for a top side in Zambia and for this reason, the coach should have considered him, even if only for the training camp in France,” he said.

Oliech said it is not too late to recall the former Tusker forward who has had a phenomenal performance with his club since he moved to Zambia three years ago.

“We cannot ignore the great performance he has had at not only in the local Zambian league but also at the continental level with his club.”

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Oliech at the same time said he is not disappointed at missing out on the opportunity to play for Harambee Stars again after expressing interest to make a come-back.

The striker has been ruled out for six weeks after being injured during a league match two weeks ago.

“Perhaps my injury was a blessing in disguise for coach Sebastian Migne because if I was available it would have been difficult for him to ignore me,” said the Gor Mahia forward.

Gor Mahia FC’s Dennis Oliech in action against Western Stima FC during a KPL match at Kasarani Stadium. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Oliech has scored five goals since returning to the local league with Gor Mahia something the Harambee Stars coach said on Tuesday is still not enough to convince him to recall the player.

The former Stars captain said  Migne has made the right decision to pick a big squad for training ahead of the tournament pointing out that this covers him in case of any injuries to players.

“It is an impressive squad and big enough to deal with any uncertainties like injuries. Furthermore, training in France will help the team to be fully focused on the job ahead and avoid any distractions,” he pointed out.

Oliech said teamwork will be key in helping Stars to do well in the tournament and believes they can make it out of a tough group ‘C’ that has Senegal, Algeria and Tanzania.

“Football has changed a lot and reputation does not matter as much as preparation and team-work.  If Stars are able to avoid defeat in the first match, then there is every possibility for them to make it to the knock-out stage of this year’s tournament.

“The idea is for them to fight for at least a draw against Senegal and Algeria and win against Tanzania to qualify and they can do it. Everyone thought the team would be thrashed by Ghana but they almost held the Black Stars in the last match of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. With the same spirit of team-work, it can happen.”


-Jesse Were has scored 82 goals for three clubs he has played for since 2011.

-However, he has not scored any goal for Harambee Stars in his 23 appearances for the team.

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